Obesity among children and teenagers is a growing cause of worry – especially in the west. Fast food chains mushrooming everywhere, sedentary lifestyle and ‘technological addiction’ have triggered this down falling avalanche on our society.
This is the right time we address this situation.
Obesity can harm nearly every critical biological system in a child – including heart and lungs, muscles, bones, kidneys, digestive tract, as well as the hormones that control blood sugar and puberty. Not to mention the obvious, obesity in children can also take a heavy social and emotional toll. What’s worse, youth who are overweight or obese have substantially higher odds of remaining overweight or obese into adulthood, increasing their risk of disease and disability later in life.
Obesity in children: The numbers
Globally, an estimated 43 million preschool children below 5 were overweight or obese in 2010. This is a 60 percent increase since 1990.
The problem affects rich and poor countries alike. Childhood obesity places the greatest burden on the poorest nations. Of the world’s 43 million overweight and obese preschoolers, 35 million live in developing countries. In 2020, a whopping 60 million children were trapped in an overweight lifestyle.
What causes obesity among children?
Family history, psychological factors, and lifestyle all play a role in childhood obesity. Children whose parents or other family members are overweight or obese are more likely to follow suit. But the main cause of childhood obesity is a combination of eating too much and exercising too little.
A poor diet containing high levels of fat or sugar and few nutrients can cause kids to gain weight quickly. Fast food, candy, and soft drinks are common culprits. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) reports that 32 percent of adolescent girls and 52 percent of adolescent boys in the United States drink 24 ounces of soda — or more — per day. In fact, research has shown that processed foods can also become the underlying cause of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Convenience foods, such as frozen dinners, salty snacks, and canned pastas can also contribute to unhealthy weight gain. Some children become obese because their parents don’t know how to choose or prepare healthy foods. Other families may not be able to easily afford fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats. Moreover, all dairy products are not healthy either. For instance, a leaked FDA study found out that milk, meat produce and store cakes in the US contained carcinogenic PFAS. You can read that article here.
Not enough physical activity can be another cause of childhood obesity. People of all ages tend to gain weight when they’re less active. Exercise burns calories and helps you maintain a healthy weight. Children who aren’t encouraged to be active may be less likely to burn extra calories through sports, time on the playground, or other forms of physical activity.
Combating the societal challenge of childhood obesity
Changing the eating habits of obese children is absolutely essential. Parental influence shapes your child’s eating patterns. Most kids eat what their parents buy, so healthy eating needs to start with you. In fact, eating natural and unprocessed foods is such a powerful habit that it can potentially reduce the symptoms of disorders like Autism!
Consume meals and snacks based on fresh foods instead of processed items, baked goods, or salty snacks. Try:
- fresh fruits and vegetables
- lean proteins, such as chicken and fish
- whole grains, such as brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, and whole-grain bread
- low-fat dairy products, including skim milk, low-fat plain yoghurt, and low-fat cheese
Chances are good that your overweight or obese child will drop some weight as they transition to a healthier way of eating.
Spread the word and stay healthy 🙂
Love and Light
The Healing Oracle Team
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